Former Australian leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has called for Michael Clarke to support Nathan Lyon more on the field.

Lyon's spin bowling has come under scrutiny of late, with the 25-year-old failing to grab crucial wickets against South Africa and Sri Lanka.

MacGill admitted he has been disappointed by Lyon's bowling - but only because he knows the South Australian is capable of so much more.

"I'm disappointed because he's a very, very good bowler," MacGill told Sportal at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday, where he was supporting Jane McGrath Day.

"He's won Test matches for Australia in the past and he's done it right from the start of his Test career."

MacGill has noticed a significant change in the way Lyon has been bowling and reckons he won't get much success if he continues in the same vein.

"I think he should be getting a little more support out on the field," MacGill said.

"Michael Clarke is a selector, he should be going up there and saying, 'listen mate, we picked you because we want you to bowl like this and I've seen you do it before'."

MacGill said Lyon's change of fortunes comes down to the pressure he has been put under.

"It's very difficult for a young guy," MacGill said.

"He's reading papers, he knew that yesterday (Tuesday) was his opportunity to win a Test match for Australia, much as he knew that (against South Africa) in Adelaide.

"I've seen him win Test matches, I know he can do it."

Australia clinched the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart by 137 runs just when it seemed the match was heading for a draw.

Fast bowler Peter Siddle claimed match figures of 9-104, while Mitchell Starc grabbed 5-63 in the second innings.

MacGill said the team would be boosted by that victory ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

"When you win a Test match like that and in that way, the team grows exponentially," he said.

"You know that when the chips are down you can win and other teams really feel that - they know that you're tough."


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